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Askanius, T., Malmö University, F. of C. and S., Originator, Malmö University, S. of A. and C. (K3), Originator, & Malmö University, (Re)thinking Democracy (REDEM), Originator. (2019). Studying the Nordic Resistance Movement : three urgent questions for researchers of contemporary neo-Nazis and their media practices. Media, Culture & Society, 41(6), 878–888. Communication & Mass Media Complete. https://doi.org/10.1177/0163443719831181


This commentary provides critical reflections on a number of challenges related to research methodology and ethics when studying organized racism in online environments. Based on ongoing fieldwork of the Nordic Resistance Movement (NMR) in Sweden, I ask three critical questions about researching the neo-Nazi organization and organized racism more generally: (1) How do we produce valid knowledge of these 'closed' groups in their 'open' online spaces? What are the limitations of our research on hidden social life when we only have access to what they want us to know? (2) Why and for whom are we producing research on these groups? Or, put another way, what ethical considerations and problems related to intent and research agendas arise in studies of neo-Nazism and other forms of organized racism? (3) What is the emotional labour involved in studying these groups for the researcher and how might it be used in a productive manner? [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]